Coffee Break: Funnel Neck Wool Blend Coat

2018 Update: The biggest Nordstrom sale of the year just started July 12, and you can see our full coverage of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2018 here. Sign up for our newsletter to get our picks for workwear and beyond! (You can check out some of our more recent Nordstrom sale picks here!)

No one wants to think about wool coats in July, but there are some great coats in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale this year. This is one of my favorites — I like the sort of floppy collar, the military influence with the buttons, and the huge patch pockets, which feel kind of chic and are a nice detail on an otherwise simple coat. I also like the price, which is just $109; it’ll go up to $198 after the sale. The coat comes in the pictured moss as well as black and is available in regular and petite sizes (lucky sizes only). Funnel Neck Wool Blend Coat

Here’s a plus-size option (Cinzia Rocca, huge discount).

Do note that we’ve updated the post with our workwear picks from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale — all links have been updated, including what’s sold out, unfortunately.

This post contains affiliate links and Corporette® may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!


  1. posted early?

  2. Amsterdam in October! :

    I’ll be visiting Amsterdam for the first time with my husband at the end of October. I plan to arrive Friday around 1 pm (flying in from the United States) and we can leave on Tuesday or Wednesday. Any recommendations for places to stay, eat, visit, etc.? Obviously we will visit the Anne Frank Museum. Also, any thoughts on whether Saturday-Monday is enough for sightseeing, or would you recommend another day? Thanks all!

    • I did Amsterdam a few years ago and had a wonderful time! It is now one of my favorite cities I’ve visited in Europe. I would stay an extra day if you can. I didn’t do much in the way of visiting specific places, but I walked around the city all day every day, stopping at every church I came upon, enjoying the bridges and neighborhoods, and drinking coffee at so many coffee shops. We did pay to go into Oude Kurk, which I was skeptical about in the beginning, but I was so glad we did (and we went to the attached coffee shop afterward and sat outside, which was fabulous). I walked through numerous street markets, and bought a few unique items there (including a bell for my bicycle, which I love because it reminds me of Amsterdam). I have talked to people who did canal tours and they recommended them, but I didn’t get to that. Primarily because I love to walk the cities so much. I did do a free walking tour (where you tip the guide) and I’d suggest that too as a nice way to see things you might otherwise miss in the city.

      • Min Donner :

        Local-tip — in the Netherlands, “coffee shops” refers to where you can buy/smoke pot and get edibles, “cafes” are where you get coffee, maybe beer, delicious pastries, etc. If you want to go to Anne Frank, it’s almost impossible to reserve tickets too early. If this is your priority, I would book as soon as possible and plan the rest of your trip around it. Pretty much every museum will let you purchase tickets/reserve time slots directly on their websites. It is so worth it to see the city from the water — even if the canal tour is touristy/poor. You may look into thosedamboatguys – it’s run by some Canadians/Americans and supposed to be one of the better ones, but again, you have to reserve ahead of time. There is no shortage of interesting stuff to see and do, and if you are looking for any specific recommendations let me know and I’ll try to weigh in — I’ve been living in the Netherlands (though not in Amsterdam) for the past few years.

    • LondonLeisureYear :

      Hey if you post an email I can send you my google doc for it! Biggest tip: book your Anne Frank Museums tickets in advance and skip the line which goes on forever.

    • I did two days in Amsterdam and found it fine. I took a boat tour with those Dam Boat Guys which was lovely – smaller than the big boats and you can bring food and drinks. I stayed at Hotel de Hallen which was a very funky hotel a bit away from the centre but next to an awesome food hall and a quick tram ride to many sights.

    • I love Amsterdam so I vote for staying as many days as you can. The Van Gogh museum and Rembrandt Huis are both wonderful; so is the Rijksmuseum.

      I would skip the Heineken Factory tour, although a lot of people enjoy it. The weather in October can be chilly and rainy, but just bring layers and an umrbrella and enjoy. The food is great, the people are wonderful & the shopping is fun (Thursday is the shopping day when stores are open later otherwise be prepared for things to close around 6).

    • Anonymous :

      After you are tired from walking, take a boat tour on the canals!

      • Yay Kat! I NEED a nice wool coat for the winter, and recomend this Nordstrom sale also. I told the manageing partner and he said I could order THIS coat! YAY!

        As for the OP, Yes, I went there with my Dad, Mom and Rosa many year’s ago. We went to all of the canal’s and the Museum Van Goe, and we ate alot of cheeze and crackers. Dad warned me about stepping in poopie, but I did anyway, and it was a mess. FOOEY!

        But there is alot to see and do, so go for a week. There is a place near the train station we stayed at. It was kind of like a Hilton, but not quite as swankey. You should have fun!

    • Anonymous :

      I did a bike tour, which I loved. A great way to get an intro to the city!

  3. Anonymous :

    So this is kind of a dumb questions but after years of renting, I am starting to look into becoming a first time home (or condo) owner! I am not looking for a full on fixer upper, but who do you hire (or do you do it yourself?) to give an older home a little refresh- maybe just paint, new light fixtures, crown molding?, possibly refinishing a hardwood floor. Would it be a general contractor, or would you individually higher people to do certain things. Thanks!

    • Look for a handyman. Our realtors gave us the gift of 8 hours of a handyman’s time when we closed on our house and he was so fantastic we used him for a week.

      It was a much better deal than using a contractor and we could ask him to do more small tasks. He was awesome.

      • (But I’d use a specialty company for refinishing a floor)

        • Yes. 100%. I have a handyman that I use for that kind of stuff (he paints, he can fix drywall/plaster, he is currently restaining my deck, he swapped out light fixtures on days he was already there, etc).

          We used a specialty contractor for refinishing our hardwood floors.

      • For painting, you may want a company with a crew. We have a great handyman that we use for most things, but we are repainting our whole interior right now, and he told us it would take him 3-4 weeks. The crew we hired instead will do it in 3-4 days. Slightly more expensive, but we have two kids and I wanted to minimize the disruption to our lives.

    • A lot of these things could be handled by a “handyman” if you ask for local recommendations. Ask for references and to see before/afters (on the mouldings, particularly), or ask friends/condo association/neighbors once you’re in. The seller’s agent or closing attorney may even have some suggestions, based on what other customers have used.

      Hardwood floor refinishing would call for an actual dedicated floor person; just google hardwood floor refinishing in your area and call around. That’s how we had our hardwoods throughout a 60 yo house redone years ago. Very few people had websites, most people didn’t call us back, but the guy we got was fantastic and well priced, and our realtor had kindly done a little recon on him as a courtesy to us.

      Have fun and good luck!

    • Get a handyman for painting, fixture hanging and molding, and a hire a true floor refinisher for the floors. Get on Nextdoor and ask for recommendations from your new neighbors! I’ve found the folks who engage are a great resource, and there’s a good chance their homes are similar to yours in age and structure.

    • Anonymous :

      Any recommendations for a handyman in DC?

      • Jim Morehouse, [email protected]

        Did a fantastic job painting for me a few years back. Someone from the leasing office in my very large corporate owned building strongly suggested him–personally, as in she had used him herself. He was reasonably priced and wholly independent from the LL.

      • Thanks all. The anonymous in DC is not me but if people have recommendations in the Waltham area I will take them! You have all already helped so much- thanks!

      • We’ve used John Whitman. He’s in Fairfax, but that’s not too far from DC. 703-346-3359. He’s retired from building sets and displays for the Smithsonian. He changed our light fixtures, did some trim work, came up with a creative solutions for a closet door issue (which saved a ton of money), and changed out some vanities. He doesn’t paint though. He was very honest, reasonable, and generally very pleasant.

        For painting, we’ve used Patrick’s Painting out of Alexandria. Again, very reasonable and great attention to detail.

  4. I wish I needed a coat. That plus size option is gorgeous.

    • Eeertmeert :

      Ditto!! Sigh. I have too many coats as it is…
      And in my neck of the woods waterproof is a need not a want.
      But still, so pretty. Would be perfect with one of my big knit scarves. And a latte.

      • I live in the Bay Area. We have maybe one day per year where I’d need a coat like this but now I want it so that I can wear a handknit scarf and have a latte!

  5. Scenario: your first grandchild, who you’ve met once, is turning 1 and having a big celebration. You’ve had (non refundable) flights booked for months and planned to stay a week.

    Yesterday, one of your best friends lost her battle with cancer. Her funeral is the same day as the birthday party. The funeral is local to your home. The surviving spouse is a very close friend and does have other support- children, and a young grandchild.

    There is no doing both. The funeral and surrounding events are in the middle of the trip and on the day of the party. The couple considered splittingup but they don’t want to travel alone OR go to the funeral alone.

    WWYD? My coworker is in this scenario and I said go to the funeral and skip the birthday party/grandkid (and daughter) visit, but she’s so torn. I don’t have grandkids (yet…) so it’s hard for me to make a fair call. The tickets were expensive and the trip has been planned for a while, apparently. The death was not a surprise, but came very suddenly amidst a losing battle.

    • Anonymous :

      I am Team Funeral. It’s sad to miss a first birthday, but I bet the airline would give you a break on rebooking to another time (so not bereavement fare, but bereavement rebooking) if you call and talk to a live person. At any rate, it is just the rebooking fee lost, not the whole thing.

      Funerals happen once.

      The life of a baby happens (ideally) for a long time. Kiddo will be happy with re-enacting. Trust me on this.

    • I have to agree with you on the funeral. A one-year-old is not going to remember that party at all, and she will have ample time in the coming years (inshallah) to create more meaningful memories with that child.

      • Anonymous :

        I think of one year old party’s as more about celebrating the parents journey through early parenthood. Basically as celebration of having survived the first year.

        • Great news, they’ve hopefully got at least 17 more years of parenting to celebrate! There won’t be another chance to gather together to celebrate the life of her close friend.

          Hopefully they can reschedule and celebrate with the parents another time. If it were my parents, I would be sad but totally understand.

          • Anonymous :

            Maybe it’s regional but where I am, a first birthday is a very special event – the next similar event would be a sweet sixteen/quinceanera party. It wouldn’t be an annual thing.

            Also, I would view attending the wake as more important than the church service so OP could attend the wake one day, and fly out that night or on the morning of the party.

          • Anonymous :

            Where I am the first birthday is normally a party with the kids daycare classmates and their parents, and maybe a few close friends of the parents who don’t have kids the same age. The only people who would conceivably travel for it are the grandparents and even that is rare.

          • Anonymous :

            Can someone explain wake vs funeral?

            I’ve only gone to graveside services and memorial services (no burial). Is a wake a regional thing?

          • Anonymous :

            Wake is when you attend at the funeral home to view the remains and speak with family members to provide condolences. Flowers are generally set to the funeral home for display. Pictures of the deceased with their family and friends and also mementos of importance are displayed.

            It provides an opportunity to speak directly with family members vs. at church service. Wake would commonly be 6 hours each day of the 2-3 days preceding the funeral (10- 12, 2-4, 7-9). Casket may be opened or closed or urn displayed depending on wishes of family/deceased.

          • Anonymous :

            We don’t really have wakes. We actually do weddings / funerals the same: short service (usually graveside or a memorial service in a church (no burial afterwards)) and reception immediately following in the parish hall of the church or a local relative’s house. Everyone brings food for reception (and if not at the house, brings additional food to the house as soon as the death is known b/c of the expected influx of people / grief impeding cooking).

            Tiny town in SEUS (I am in big city in SEUS but my people get buried where we are from)

          • I would definitely attend the funeral. In my opinion, funerals are un-missable occasions for close friends and family. Even if you are in a region where 1st birthdays are a bigger deal (akin to a sweet sixteen) I would still say the single last occasion to celebrate the friends life and support her bereaved spouse takes priority. I recently lost a loved one and it was an incredible comfort to look around at all the people that she had touched and to know how important she had been in so many lives.

    • Anonymous :

      I would rebook tickets to depart immediately after the funeral.

      Stay the rest of the week with grandkid and practice lots of self care. When someone passes, there is often a lot of support immediately afterwards but not as much as time passes. Take the week to enjoy the time with grandchild even though the actual ‘party’ will be missed.

    • Manhattanite :

      I think she has a pass on either option. Funerals only happen once, but providing support in the aftermath (and while deceased was still living and fighting) is equally if not more important. Being there for the birthday is celebrating the living and the future. Also, depends on relationship w birthday kid’s parents and what won’t harm that. I don’t advocate one choice over the other, I’m merely saying there is no one right choice.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 – I think this is completely a situation where she gets a pass with whatever decision she makes. I would base it on her own personal preference and emotion. There is no right or wrong here in my opinion. The only wrong would be not being upfront with people about whatever decision it is. I normally agree that you “go to the funeral,” but also agree that with extenuating circumstances there are other ways to support the family and mourn her loss.

    • Team Birthday Party :

      I would go to the Birthday Party, have food or catering delivered to help the surviving spouse and support the surviving spouse in other ways after the trip. Funerals tend to a blur for families, and they will surely need support when she returns.

      • This seems to focus primarily on the needs of others – i.e. will the family need more support during the funeral or after? What about her own feelings and mourning the loss of her close friend? Would she be able to enjoy the party knowing that she is missing the funeral to be there, or just attending to ‘check a box’ with her daughter that she attended the party?

        Especially when it comes to grief, she should think about what will truly be best for her and her mourning, not just trying to thread a needle to support/upset as few other people as possible.

      • Anonymous :

        I have lots of ultra-busy friends. Really, every person, even my retired parents, is busy.

        When I die, I worry that no one will attend my funeral (I live far away, etc. etc.) but everyone will send Seamless to feed all of the funeral non-guests.

        While it is a blur for the survivors, it is also the sort of thing where there is a lot of “Where is Cindy?”. And probably a lot of “where is everyone???!” nowadays.

        Whatever she does, I would urge her to reach out early, often, etc. I have often gone to funerals “for my family” where the older relative who was closer was ill and I was the younger relative who had met the deceased. I’d talk to the survivors and relay “Gran sends her regrets but is still having dizzy spells. We remember Miss Delores fondly and Gran will send around a pound cake next week.”

        Maybe this is just a southern sensibility.

        • Anonymous :

          This is a really, really good point. There are some occasions where sending food and flowers really aren’t sufficient. A best friend’s funeral is one of them. A 1-year-old’s party, is not. I’ve read a couple of accounts recently of funerals where just a few people attend. That’s heartbreaking.

        • Anon in NYC :

          100%. There are times where you really just have to show up. A funeral for one of your best friends is one of those times. Push the flights back by a day.

        • lawsuited :

          I always go to a funeral for this reason, sometimes in cases where I never even met the deceased but am close to a family member. My aunt died young when I was 13, and so many people came to the funeral that people had to stand in the aisles and outside the church. That resounding response meant a huge deal to me and my whole family.

        • Agreed, wholeheartedly.

          I flew home in a whirlwind of grief for the unexpected death of my great-uncle a few years ago. I was close to him as a child, but since moving away, saw him only once or twice a year, and spoke to him on the phone a few times a year more than that (he wasn’t a phone person).

          My mother told me not to worry about coming home, everyone would understand. We debated making the trip (DH and I) because finances were tight/time off work (I had just started a new job).

          I knew it was the right decision when my great aunt saw me come into the visitation (I stood in line) and rushed over to give me a huge hug and said, “I’m so glad you’re here” while sobbing.

          Sometimes showing up is required. I think funerals are that time, personally, and after that experience, I always try to show up.

          • Two Cents :

            Sometimes showing up is required. I think funerals are that time, personally, and after that experience, I always try to show up.

            + 100

            I recently had a similar experience of attending a funeral of a family member. Although I wasn’t close to her, I’m so glad that I attended and I know that it meant so much to her family. Go to the funeral, and go see your grandchild a day late.

            The mom who had 120 + people at her child’s first year birthday party

          • Anonymous :

            One of my biggest regrets in life is not attending the funeral of a dear friend who passed away unexpectedly. I didn’t want to suggest to my husband that we spend a fortune on a last-minute plane ticket and didn’t feel good about driving 1,200 miles round trip by myself in winter, so I didn’t go. I wish I had made a different choice.

          • My dad didn’t attend the funeral of his college roommate’s father. He wasn’t close to the father (barely knew him), but was close to his roommate. 50 years later, he says that not being there to support his friend at the funeral was one of the biggest regrets in his life. Go to the funeral.

          • Never too many shoes... :

            I completely agree. My father died when I was 30 and what I remember most was the unexpected attendance of a bunch of guys I was friends with in undergrad and the fact that one of my best high school friends was not there because she had plans to go away for the weekend with her boyfriend and did not want to cancel.

            Always go to the funeral. The grandbaby will love you just as much a few days later.

    • Anonymous :

      Funeral, absolutely. Maybe if she has time she can Facetime with the baby.

      • Anonymous :


        Funeral is sort of the ultimate allowable excuse for missing something.

        I have a crazy client that had a delayed closing and I was trying to get it closed. I leveled after a while that I needed to start driving to a funeral before rush hour and even the demanding client was all “OMG leave for the funeral already.”

      • Anonymous :

        I’d go to the birthday party. If you could ask your friend, I’m 100% sure she’d tell you to celebrate the living and not the dead.

        • Anonymous :


          I’m pretty selfless as a living person, but when I die, just once, I’d like people to make the effort for me.

          I wasn’t a Bridezilla. But I think we all should get One Day where we are important b/c we were just a person.

          I might still tell people to go to the party b/c I hate to disappoint people and am somewhat of a people pleaser. But looking down from heaven, I’d really be touched by the people who came.

          • +1. I went to an unexpected funeral across the country (story above). My family member was 100% selfless, and understood and respected when I couldn’t come home for things like holidays. But I felt like I needed to be there to remember him.

            And in the end, it was the right decision. We celebrated him, and the presence of all the family together really helped my grieving aunt/cousins.

        • nasty woman :

          Well, people also say that funerals are for the living. In the past few years I’ve attended funerals for two family members–one a particularly tragic and untimely death– and both provided wonderful, unexpected opportunities for connection and joy with other attendees. Frankly, I was surprised–I just wasn’t really considering that possibility when gearing up to to go the funerals/associated functions. But I look back on those experience with gratitude and reverence.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            One of my husband’s high school friends died unexpectedly. It was right after my grandmother passed so we were both a little concerned about taking more time off work but we did. It was such a special weekend. We saw tons of people we hadn’t seen in years and wouldn’t see again for years. His family had a big celebration of life party and a softball game. It’s weird saying this but it was a really really fun weekend and he wouldn’t have had it any other way. He was always a great host.

        • Aunt Jamesina :

          For most people, it’s not about the deceased, it’s about being there for the family.

        • Senior Attorney :

          I’m 99% sure the friend would say “I hate to ask this, but I’d really like for you to be there to support my husband and kids.”

    • Thanks for all the views- it’s a hard situation for sure. I think she’s so conflicted because both parties have already given her a “pass”- family friend knows they had plans and how much they miss/never see the grandbaby, her daughter (mom of baby) knows that she lost a family friend (and apparently daughter would have, if she were not hosting this party, tried her best to fly down to the funeral). So it’s really just up to her and she’s been stuck all day.

      • I’m obviously either alone or in the minority here, but if the deceased friend was someone who really celebrated life, the friend might actually have (if she were alive) insisted the friend go to the birthday party. It’s a first grandchild. The baby wil not remember, but the coworker will. My grandma is extremely close to me–I was her first grandchild–and she takes joy in being able to say she was there for all of my milestones, even when it was difficult for her. I don’t ask that of her or expect it from her; it’s what makes her happy (and that, in turn, makes me happy).

        If this were me, and my friend wasn’t someone who had expressed concern about no one being at her funeral, I would attend the birthday party as planned, taking a moment during the day to grieve and be grateful for the friendship that was had. I don’t think she should feel guilt about doing so if that is what she chooses to do.

    • Funeral, hands down. I can’t believe this is even a question. No one will remember a one year olds birthday, and god willing, there will be many more.

    • Go to the funeral. There will be other birthdays.

  6. Anonymous :

    Coats? It’s the end of July. I wish I needed a coat (even though it’s nice on the east coast today – not coat weather).

    • Anonymous :

      NAS is all fall stuff, which is why Kat is featuring a coat.

    • Linda from HR :

      I already know I need a fall coat, because I gained weight and my old one doesn’t fit, and I’d like to get a new one before it actually gets cold, which means buying it in August or very early September.

      It is actually pretty cold in my city today, I should have worn my raincoat.

    • God willing the earth will last until fall and winter, although with the way things are going, who knows?

  7. shopping help? :

    I know there have been a lot of bag posts, but if someone wants to find me my unicorn bag, PLEASE?!?! I am looking for a professional bag, big enough to hold laptop and a file folder/binder. I want it to go on top of my roller bag (i.e., have the slit where the handle goes through). I want professional. I love this one, but it just seems SO expensive for waxed canvas:

    • Rainbow Hair :

      The Baggallini Avenue Tote is less than 1/10 the price of the Tumi (though I’ll admit it’s not as beautiful). I have a Baggallini tote and it’s totally workable and seems pretty durable. Their Errand Laptop Tote looks nice too.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Also, from my Amazon wishlist, the Travelon Anti-theft Ltd Tote Bag is currently on sale.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m so in love with my Tumi bag, let me tell you. I have the nylon tote, and yeah it’s just nylon and yeah it’s expensive, but it’s so well made and such great quality, and ticks off all the boxes you’re looking for.

      • Baconpancakes :

        I have a Tumi ballistic nylon tote. It looks new (really!) after 3 years of HARD wear. I am rude to my bags, but my Tumi doesn’t care. I love that bag.

        I got it at a Tumi outlet, so that might be a good option to save some money.

    • I have a similar Tumi Sinclair and love it, but I got it on a flash sale site and it was under $200.

      This one might be up your alley:

    • Another person chiming in to say I love my tumi tote. I’m sitting next to my original bag that is arojnd 4 years old and has been all over the world and still looks good.

    • I love my Knomo (older Madison version) but this Tumi is gorgeous. It looks like it would match anything and any season, with the perfect mix of pockets, zippers and open space plus outer pocket- this is an amazing bag!

    • Anonymous :

      I bought a waxed canvas Tumi in 2015, carry it every day, and it is still in almost perfect shape. Commute an hour each direction. In my book, it’s worth the price.

      • Yup, my husband has all Tumi everything and has the backpack in this material and wow! it is like teflon for how well it wears. He has shoved that thing under plane seats, in overhead compartments, worn it in the rain, snow, sleet, and extreme heat, packed it to capacity, had food and drinks spilled inside of it, let it sit on the floors of public transportation, you name it and it still looks great — even at the edges — after two years. I’m seriously impressed.

    • In-House in Texas :

      Have you tried Lo and Sons? I love their bags. I watch their videos over and over. This is a great bag and is on sale for $158 and meets all of your requirements. I have the OMG bag and the zipper busted because I overstuffed it. I tweeted them a photo from the airport and they sent me a brand new bag after I’d had the bag for over a year. For Free!!!

    • There’s a black Tumi Sinclair Q tote – not sure of the size – on e-bay that seems to be in great condition, good price. And a new Tumi Larkin Nora. Which I’m now kind of tempted to buy for a back-up.

      None of these specify the luggage strap/pocket thingy but you can inquire of the seller.

      Oooh, and now I spotted a Tumi Larkin Nora in aubergine. Stop me . . .

    • Try the Victorinox Divine from ebags when they are running a 30% off sale (which is frequent). I love mine (I have two–one in a dark purple and another in black) and I they have worn like iron. They fit huge laptops and legal sized redwelds. They have the over-luggage sleeve too and about one million thoughtful pockets. I have Tumi’s, and I like the structure of the Victorinox better.

  8. Some comments on the vegan post this morning got me thinking. How do you decide whether talk to a friend about tough issues? And if you decide to, how do you do it? I feel like if you say something you risk the friendship, and if you don’t, you might risk even worse results. A few examples:

    1. After leaving am unhappy relationship with a rather controlling ex, my best friend commented on how she never liked him and listed a litany of behaviors she’d had a problem with. I wished she’d talked to me about it when we were dating – I likely would have ended things sooner (being gaslighted makes those kinds of decision hard if you don’t have support).
    2. When a close friend was marrying someone she didn’t love and was ill suited for, I did (once) say something about her not having to go through with the wedding right after one of the many meltdowns she had prior to the wedding. We ended up not speaking for months as a result, and not becoming close again until they divorced.
    3. Like in this morning’s post, a friend is showing disordered eating, such as eating a single food exclusively for days at a time. I haven’t said anything, but I really worry about her.

    • I err on the side of saying something, but I also have a high tolerance for uncomfortable conversations. I’d just say, friend who didn’t tell me my ex was a jerk, I really would have appreciated your perspective. I hope in the future you can tell me when you see that I’m not being treated well. I promise not to hold it against you. Eating disorder friend, I’m worried about you. If this isn’t my business, I’ll butt out, but I’m concerned. Are you happy? Is there anything I can do?

  9. My office culture is such that we often stick our heads into someone’s cubicle rather than use IM or email for relatively minor concerns. However, one coworker always visibly jumps and gasps when anyone says his name, or comes up to his cubicle. I’ve tried to help by making noise as I walk up, knocking on the wall first, etc., but he still jumps, every time. I feel bad for startling him, but I’ve started to get a little annoyed since his (admittedly involuntary) reaction makes us all feel like we’re disturbing him when this is just how the office functions. He’s fine with the reciprocal end of the deal, where he’ll stick his head into our offices as needed, but it’s definitely caused a shift in how comfortable the rest of us are with going over to his desk. Thoughts?

    • Anonymous :

      His reaction doesn’t mean he thinks you are disturbing him–either he gets into the zone and concentrates well, or he is just wired to be jumpy and can’t do anything about it. Keep making noise or knocking to alert him to your presence, and go about your business as normal.

      • +1 I face the door to my office and still get startled by colleagues dropping in because I tend to get wrapped up in whatever task I’m doing

        • +2 for being in the zone. Once after a department reorg, the new executive head of my group decided to do office drop ins to get to know everyone. He had been sitting in my office for a solid 3-5 minutes in a chair directly in front of me before I noticed he was there. I was initially mortified, but turns out my ultra-focus was probably the best possible impression a 23 year old could make on an executive.

    • Anonymous :

      Oh geez, I do this. My back faces my door a good portion of the day based on where my computer sits and if I’m focusing on something, I jump a mile when someone comes in or says my name. That does not mean I don’t want people to talk to me.

    • I’m a jumpy person. I can see someone approach out of the corner of my eye and *still* jump when they knock. You’re overthinking this.. This is SO minor. He’ll live. Do not change your behavior.

    • Have you asked him about it? It sounds like you just need to talk about it, and if other coworkers truly feel this way, then maybe it needs to be something that the team comes to understand.

      I used to have an employee who did this. She always jumped when people said her name and she was concentrating on something else, even if they were in the same room or she could theoretically hear them coming. Always. Same with doorbells, phone calls, alarms, etc – it all made her jump. There was no affect on her work, she could engage right away (after the jump). She was one of my managers and her team thought it was funny, as did she, they all joked about it. I asked her if there was anything I could do to make it better and she said she’d been that way all her life, just try to get her attention somehow if possible, but if not, it wasn’t a big deal to her. Once it was clear she didn’t mind, no one else cared.

    • I am always startled by people because I use an ear plug so that I can concentrate when I am working. We have low cube walls and I am near customer service so it’s loud and this is the only way I can get things done. Being startled has nothing to do with whether I want people to talk to me or not (I don’t, but that’s not the point here). Being startled means I was focused on working on something and blocking out the nuisances around me.

      You should work to reframe how you think about this. It’s involuntary, which you admitted, and yet you are holding it against him. That’s incredibly unfair and if your culture is such that you all interrupt people all the time, then you have to live with the fact that you are going to startle people. Maybe there should be some thought investing on changing the work culture to stop interrupting people?

      • Naturally, that third sentence came out wrong. What I meant was that because being startled is involuntary, the act of jumping when someone interrupts me is not tied to the fact that I don’t want people to come talk to me. I don’t want people to come talk to me because I am trying to concentrate. I can’t control that I jump when people interrupt me. So jumping = /= don’t interrupt me. I just don’t want to be interrupted, whether I was jumping or not!!

        Grouch that hates not having an office anymore

    • Suggest he get a rear view mirror for his cube so that he can see people starting to approach?

    • Baconpancakes :

      Is your coworker Basse Andersen, the most easily startled man in the world?

      • Baconpancakes :

        Better video:

    • He could totally be wired to be easily startled, yes.

      However, consider the possibility–know your co-worker–that he is frustrated by the pop-ins and quick hellos, and he’s feigning jumpiness to maybe subtly try to emphasize that he is being interrupted.

      Whether that’s right or wrong in your office culture is yours to know. But at wit’s end with a single co-worker who used to pop in WAY too frequently and interrupt, I have employed a similar technique. I swear I’m not a bad person.

      • …I realize that you have indeed considered this possibility, to be clear (reading comprehension fail, sorry), but chimed in to say yeah, totally possible. If it’s within the bounds of your office culture, he needs to maybe just suck it up. If people are overusing that, he may be using this technique.

    • Just chiming in to sympathize. My mother is super easily startled; I would say about 60% of the time I enter a room that she’s in, I’m greeted with “Ahh!” and flinching. It’s really annoying. I know it’s involuntary, and I am sympathetic that she has to go through life being startled constantly, but it’s still really annoying. I try to make some sort of noise as I’m approaching, like shaking my car keys or making loud footsteps.

      • Oh, one other suggestion: depending on his seating arrangement, would he consider a mirror to help him see people approaching? It might be that he needs a visual, rather than auditory, cue.

        • I have a mirror, it makes no difference because I’m actually focused on what I’m doing at work not who is coming up next to me.

    • cat socks :

      Send him an IM saying you’re stopping by.

    • Give him a break.

      Do not “talk” with him about it. He knows he has an enhanced startle response. Don’t embarrass him by reminding him of it, and worse, making him feel bad for annoying you because of something beyond his control. Yes, it is involuntary.

      Enhanced startle is biological, and can actually be associated with everything from anxiety/PTSD, being on steroid medications, thyroid issues, to just a normal variant. Don’t make him feel like he needs to reveal his medical history to you.

      I would continue to be louder while you are approaching and develop a habit of coughing once or twice as you approach, or even better, call him when you have a question.

  10. I took advantage of the Talbot’s sale last week and ordered some basics to try out. Sizing at Talbot’s is always difficult for me. I’m a cusp size and petite to boot, 14p to 16p depending on the item and brand. But in Talbot’s sizes I’m all over the place with their petites and women’s petites. Anyway, I bought the Perfect Sweater and I love it. Perfect weight and sleeve length for under suits. Now, I’m considering buying some more in different colors, but I’m worried about how they hold up over time. Anyone had one and can advise whether I should grab some more or enjoy the one I have while it lasts?

    • I don’t have this sweater, but I have several similar Talbots ones – pullovers and cardigans- that have held up fine with frequent washing and drying. Their knit quality seems to have gotten a little better in the past couple years.

  11. How worried would you be about weather/rough surf when booking a HI vacay on the north shore of Oahu in early-mid November? Recognizing that is when surf competitions start there because of the gnarly waves, I’m worried we wont be able to go into the ocean at all. I’ve also heard of windiness and rain in winter. Also, I wonder if early/mid November is different than Dec-Feb, even though all are considered winter. Any advice is welcomed!

    • Hawaii is beautiful year round. I have been there in November and it was perfect. I find spring/summer to be a bit warm but Nov was ideal.

      I had jet lag (it was a stop on a return trip from Asia) and fell asleep on a beach lounge chair at the resort. I was wearing a light dress. The temperature was perfect.

    • Anonymous :

      I have been to Hawaii many times in December and January (that’s when it works with our schedules) and I think rough surf is a concern. If you’re a strong swimmer you should be able to get in the ocean, but snorkeling is going to be difficult and I would be worried about young kids in the water. Commercial boat trips and helicopter flights are regularly cancelled (it took us three visits to Kauai in winter before we saw the Na Pali Coast from a boat). We’ve also had a lot of rain on our winter visits. The last time we went, which was not coincidentally the last time we went to Hawaii in the winter, we had monsoon like weather for six out of seven days we were there. We stayed inside the whole time and played a lot of board games, which was fun family bonding but not what you go to Hawaii for.

      That said, November is different than December/January. I’ve never been then but I understand the weather is a LOT better then.

    • For swimming? If the surf is too rough, go to another beach. Conditions are different at each beach. Some are more sheltered. And even when the lifeguards say no swimming, I let my kids play in the surf and they are happy, they just don’t go too far in.

    • The North Shore is rough in general. Look at guidebooks for sheltered coves, or plan day trips to go elsewhere on the island (Hanauma Bay is amazing, especially if you’re not going on a touristy week like Thanksgiving–I was there once in October when it was lightly sprinkling, and I kid you not, I was there with only a SINGLE other person snorkeling in the entire preserve). A good guidebook will tell you which are good swimming beaches and which are not. I liked Oahu Revealed for this purpose.

  12. I’m wearing the MONIQUE LHUILLIER SUNSHINE DAY GOWN (RTR) this weekend to a wedding. Help me pick out the right shoes?

  13. Baggy jeans :

    I ordered a pair of the vaunted Rag & Bone Dre jeans from NAS and I am confused. How are these things supposed to fit? They are definitely loose around the waist and hips but almost snug in the calf. They look cute, but if they stretch out or I lose a couple of pounds they will fall off. I would try the next size down, but of course they are sold out.

  14. I asked for some IRA advice a few weeks ago and wanted to report back and thank this group for always communicating openly about financial matters. A few good things have come out of me taking the baby step of opening an IRA: I did a complete review of my finances on the macro level, and realized that with a little strategy and frugality, I can max out the IRA this year and next, set aside 3 months emergency fund, pay off my car and student loans to be debt free other than my mortgage by the end of 2018. I do use Mint, which I really like for micro-level financial analysis, but I was missing the forest through the trees a little bit. I’ve now opened and adjusted the accounts I need, and I have a solid plan for my money that still allows me to have a little fun here and there. While I wasn’t being irresponsible or reckless before, I still feel like I have a lot more power over my situation now.

    Second, it made me realize how important it is to talk to your friends about money strategy – it’s such a taboo topic, but if we can talk about s*x we can talk about financial planning. I’ve had several friends (all women, in particular in my case, but these problems are certainly universal) go into bad credit card debt and be leeched by an irresponsible partner. We can lift each other up if we open the conversation. Thanks to the hive for sparking that in me – I’ve had several conversations with friends now, not about how much anyone makes but about how we can best set ourselves up for success, and everyone has immediately wanted to engage on the topic.


    Is anyone else listening to what’s going on in the Senate today?

    • Watching it. And now Trump’s comments. So so angry.

    • Anonymous :

      I can’t believe how fast they all crumbled!! I feel like a week ago there were 8 or 9 No votes and now they are saying Susan Collins is the only one who is going to vote now? Ahhhhhh.

    • Just sad. I can’t comprehend how a party that claims to be so economically minded can not grasp the fundamentals of how insurance risk pools work. And how almost 20% of our GDP is healthcare spending related. Crashing over the insurance apple cart is such an awful economic idea, even if you don’t give a crap about the people who will be affected on a personal “I will die” level.

    • I’m furious. I really just can’t believe that something no one seems to want and that will help only a very wealthy few is being rammed thru this way. Very disappointed in McCain for coming to do this, too. You’d think facing a health crisis of ones own would lead to a little bit of empathy or at least a return to that ‘maverick’ streak. Oh well. To hell with it.

      Not to mention the boys out speech. Not important in the scheme of things but just a sign of how f*cked we are.

      • *boyscout

        • Anonymous :

          The boy scout speech makes me so sad. I know people are of different minds of the scouts, but these are mostly just younger children. My brother went to a scout jamboree when he was like 10. It would have been the perfect opportunity for a bunch of trite platitudes (anyone else watch Modern Family? I’m reminded of Alex Dunphy’s grad speech approach – just quote a bunch of inspirational song lyrics). I mean, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but just how sad…

          • Aunt Jamesina :

            Yes! His speech could have been his easiest task all week… something canned about working hard, being honest (hah!), and helping others. Instead, he turned it into his campaign. Certainly not surprising, but this really underlines for me just how mentally unstable he is. I imagine it’s nothing like what his handlers had prepped him to do.

          • Just the fact that he started with ‘who the hell …’ – this is how the president talks to children?

          • Aunt Jamesina :

            No kidding, AIMS! And BSA is pretty conservative, so that choice of language had to ruffle feathers… but 45 just seems to be getting free passes left and right.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I have had very little free time today. My understanding is they agreed to open it up to debate not that they have agreed to pass it, right?

      • Yes but this makes it much more likely that it passes. They only need 50 votes.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          Is there anyone that voted yes to the debate predicted to vote no to the bill?

          • Capito, supposedly–she’s previously stated that she’s opposed to simple repeal, but she’s taken a firm line on “repeal and replace.”

          • Capito is my senator. I’m going to be having a talk with her office (for approximately the 50th time since January) on this very issue.

      • Anonymous :

        I heard that everyone except Susan Collins and maybe Murkowski has caved. It’s going to pass.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          What most irrationally makes me angry about this is that Trump is going to thing his Twitter tirade worked.

          • It’s all working. His entire campaign was an exercise in how low you can go and it was all rewarded by the voters. As he likes to say, he’s president.

  16. My babysitter is the devil. I came home and she and my daughter made “oreo truffles.” And I have eaten 3 with no end in sight.

    For anyone looking for a SUPER easy dessert and/or fun project to do with kids:

    Take 1 package oreos. Mash the heck out of them. If you are doing this with kids, give them a mallet and cookies in a bag. if you are doing it solo, use a food processor (or a mallet!). Mix the crumbs with the cream cheese. Form balls. refrigerate. If you want to go crazy you can roll the whole thing in sprinkles.

    my babysitter states these are even better with mint oreos. I kicked her out of the house before she could say anymore :)

  17. Bostonian :

    I am in a very awkward professional position and need advice. My boss has not been doing his job (letting people below him do it on his behalf) for 6 months, but my boss’ boss is hesitant to fire even though everyone is aligned. She has asked me to handle my boss’ performance improvement plan. Yes, my boss, who is in charge of my progression in the company–and my bonus. My boss has scheduled daily calls with me for 1-2 hours (!!!) to “set goals.”

    How the he** am I supposed to manage this? I think I just need to look for a job, but I don’t want to leave! I’ve only been here for 2 years, but my reputation is stellar and my reviews have been excellent–though of course I can’t see that continuing now…

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Get out. And ask Ask a Manager for now. But GTFO.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Nope nope nope nope nope nope.

    • Anon for this :

      Have a frank conversation with boss’ boss. Is boss expected to fail? Are you expected to take his place? Find out if there is some end in sight. This is bonkers but if it is short term pain for long term gain I might ride it out.

      • Boss’ boss is very senior in the company. I’ve only met with her once, so all my information re: timeline etc. is filtered through other people who actually report to her. It sounds like my boss is set up to fail but hasn’t realized it yet…

  18. Recs for a good Amelia Earhart biography?

  19. If EM84 is out there – I’m definitely interested in western Czech Republic recommendations! I replied to your post too late yesterday, but we’ll be in the Pilsen and Holysov area, and plan to visit some surrounding villages churches and cemeteries – more detail in yesterday’s post.

  20. Anonymous :

    Groan. A peer of mine (in charge of a different team) has been cited for ‘performance issues’ and as part of their PIP, they and their team were taken off of several projects. The projects were given to me and my team. It’s not a secret, but it’s something I’m not exactly shouting from the rooftops.

    For some reason, my peer did not tell their team and thus, one of their team members (who I like and am very friendly with) found out in a group meeting on an unrelated subject. This was not a secret, I specifically asked my boss (peer and my mutual boss) if it was public knowledge/official, I scheduled meetings about x project on the calendar, and discussed it with other invested parties. The team member who was taken off the project was upset and felt blindsided because they really enjoyed that specific project.

    Now I feel like just a total jerkface. I’ve been grappling with the fact that if I do well on these projects, I make peer look worse. Now I also look like the sneaky steal-y jerkface who doesn’t tell people their projects are getting taken away. I feel bad but not guilty… I don’t think it was my place to announce this from the rooftops, right? Should I have done something different?

  21. Rocky Mountain North :

    Anyone from ID, MT, WY? Maybe Eastern OR or WA? What is common for office wear in the greater pacific northwest?

    • Idaho maybe a bit behind in style, but in general the West trends more casual and less fashion forward than the East Coast and less formal and preppy than the South. It always depends on the office, but Northface is generally considered acceptable outerwear for all but the most formal occasions. Business casual would typically be slacks or jeans and a nice shirt (e.g. Loft outfits). My office is at the higher end of business casual and I usually wear nice pants and a blouse. Very few offices require blazers.

    • Casual, for sure! And nobody will look at you weird for wearing weather-appropriate outerwear and shoes.

  22. Bury me not on the high lonesome prairie :

    I think that is from a song (nothing against prairies).

    I am from a NY suburb where my parents no longer live. My family (extended) is from the SEUS, a tiny town near the coast. I love it there (husband is meh). I live in big SEUS city. My husband is from Big East Coast City (not NY).

    Husband does not want to be buried in our city should he die. Do I put him with his people in his home city? Do I put him with my people in Tiny Town? Do I keep him here (our school-aged children live here but may move away as adults) and move him when I die back to Tiny Town (with me)? Current city seems to only have open cemetaries really far out and in some desolate / industrial parts of town that I don’t think I could see myself in for eternity (resting, but not resting in peace).

    Is this why people get cremated? So they could get sprinkled where they want to be and not deal with stuff like this? Husband would be OK with being sprinkled on various parts of the Intra-Coastal Waterway (which could include near Tiny town).

    Husband had a cardiac scare lately and is just On This right now (but with no resolution).

    • Anonymous :

      Surely we aren’t the ones who can answer the question of where to bury your husband. I’d follow his wishes, whatever they end up being.

      • Anonymous :

        Just to add — that’s not snark, it’s just … this is such a personal question, and there’s really not a right or wrong. (Also, any chance your husband is fixating on this one thing he CAN plan for, in the middle of all the insecurity about stuff he can’t control? If so, I’d just suggest lots of listening, and recognizing that settling this question probably isn’t going to settle the thing underneath that’s causing it.)

    • Bury me not on the high lonesome prairie :

      I mean — with people so mobile these days (and across generations), maybe someone else has figured this out (or just punted / gone with sprinkling).

      • Bury me not on the high lonesome prairie :

        Also, I could put him in his home city, but he would be by himself. Not with his parents (his father is dead and that cemetary is like Arlington and only my MIL can be added to that plot when she dies) and not even in the same cemetary. I don’t think that my children would ever easily visit (although I go there for work periodically). That’s the hard-to-figure out part.

        For generations, all of my people are buried in the same cemetary.

        And I’ve seen some remarriages where one spouse is deceased and then it’s what do you do with the joint headstone now that widow has remarried, etc. It’s all potentially a big mess. If he has an articulable actual wish, I’d honor that, but what he wants (buried with father; not buried locally) are unhelpful.

        • Anonymous :

          “For generations, all of my people are buried in the same cemetery.”

          I do think this is one of those traditions on its way out now that families don’t live on the same block (or in the same one house) for generations either.

        • Anonymous :

          My now-ex MIL had FIL cremated and kept the urn in her home afterwards. I was surprised that she didn’t bury him as they both grew up in the area where they lived, had extended family on both sides, etc. but then she moved to my/my ex’s town maybe 6 years after his death, and of course brought the urn with her.

          So perhaps your husband would be willing to be cremated and have his ashes kept with you, and when you die your children can bury you together in whatever region *they* want. Or you and your children can create a plan that works for them/you when you are doing end of life planning.

          I hope your husband lives many more years and this decision becomes easier over time.

    • Anonymous :

      Cremation is a great idea; land should be for the living.

      • I like this way of thinking about it.

        child who was dragged to the cemetery for people I never even met

        • Aunt Jamesina :

          Just think of how you’d feel about this as a child had their remains been scattered at Disney World! ;-)

      • Senior Attorney :

        And you don’t have to sprinkle him. You can put him in an urn and keep him on the mantle, or the top shelf of the closet, or in a vault at a cemetery when you settle down somewhere for good.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Cremation + a plaque? That’s what I think I want. Like, a plaque or one of those bricks with a name on it or something somewhere quiet-ish (a park?) so whomever can sit there and think of me, but cremation because bodies are weird.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      So, he has said where he does not want to be buried…does he have a preference as to where he does want? Because obviously that is your answer. If he leaves it up to you, well then whatever you want.

      • This is not precisely the same conversation, but I’ve gone through a lot of end-of-life-planning conversations (yeah progressive churches!), and in those cases, facilitators are often encouraged to start by asking about the person’s hopes.

        So rather than starting with the logistics of what doesn’t jive for your husband, can you ask more generative questions? Ask about how he wants his physical body treated, ask if there are rituals that would be important to him to have honored, ask if he wants his body to serve others in death (organ donation, scientific research, even remains-into-compost) as surely it has in life, ask if he imagines his physical body remaining close to you (his immediate family) or close to ancestors or close to a beloved place or . . .

        Also, whether this is feeling very present for you or simply as a far-off plan on the horizon: these conversations with a partner can be really challenging. Please make space for your own grief, even if you’re just imagining a loss that is still many moons away. Your husband is lucky to have you by his side and preparing to honor his legacy like this.

    • I’ve asked to be cremated, when the time comes. But it’s more because I’m not crazy about graves. In NJ, at least, a body must be buried in a cement lined pocket and the body is embalmed. I’m not religious but the idea of ‘ashes to ashes’ has always spoken to me and I’d like to return to the earth. Furthermore, most graves after the first 50 years or so are unattended. My great-grandparent’s legacy still lives in the world but their corporeal remains are all but forgotten. It seems, somehow, very lonely to me.

      I’ll add though, that my grandmother wanted to be cremated but my grandfather couldn’t bring himself to do it. I honestly feel like the survivor gets to decide what will be best for them.

  23. The A/C in our building has been out for the past two days and will likely be out for the rest of the week. It is 95 degrees outside. My office gets a lot of sun, has zero insulation, and is always in the upper 70s even with A/C. I can only imagine how hot it is in there right now. I have been working from home so far, but am being pressured to come in for the remainder of the week. Employees who cannot work from home have been generously authorized to use PTO. WTF, employer?

  24. What would you do if you’re at a job where you are happy in terms of job security, co-workers, flexibility etc but have a problem with the pay and lack of any room for growth and you need more money for student loans,travel saving for the future etc. Would you still leave?

    • Anonymous :

      That’s me and I’m looking, but I could also downsize my expenses, which I’m not prepared to do. Like you say, you have expenses and plans, so I guess it’s one or the other, you know? Take your time and find something as secure and flexible and with great people, maybe? Easier said than done, I know.

      • Yes I am looking too and have been for months… but recently realized I actually liked it here and somewhat – for me its not about my current expenses. Its also due to the fact I am severely unpaid but took that pay cut to gain experience at a particular company. It was never meant to be long term especially because there is no advancement here, nor bonuses or promotions. So I need to be making current market value which I can easily get somewhere else… but the challenge is whether I would be as otherwise stable/comfortable/happy somewhere else.

    • Anonymous :

      Of course. Especially if I was in my 20’s or 30’s.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes! It was hard for me to leave my last job because I was comfortable and had friends and I honestly never thought I’d have it as good anywhere else (I cried basically my entire last day because I really did believe this and thought I was making a mistake). However, it had been made clear from management that while it was fine if I stayed in my role forever, I wasn’t going to move up on the organization (at least not anywhere near the pace of my peers). So I took a chance and left my job I was comfortable at, found a new job that at least in title was a promotion, and things are even better here than at my last job! I have a boss that wants me to get promoted and works with me, I made friends with my new coworkers (and the ones I was closest to at my old job left anyway), I make more money, and I’m happier here than I ever was at my last job. I know it doesn’t always work out that way, but I was honestly mourning leaving my prior job, and now I only wish I’d left sooner.

      • Thanks so much for this, that helps!!! I am the same way, the prospect of me leaving makes me tear up because it is literally my dream job if only the pay was where I needed it to be and if I had a chance to move up but they made it clear day one that isnt the case. It is so so scary to think of leaving I cant see myself anywhere being so happy but I felt that way in my last job now that I think about it so I will have to put on my big girl pants and just have faith and leave. Because I have 2 masters and a mountain of student loans and CCs to pay from my investment in my education…. so I know I have to let the security blanket go.

  25. Donations advice :

    I would like to make donations in opposition to some of the senators who voted for the ACA repeal process today — I’m thinking Heller, Cruz, Flake and McCain (based on which seats are likely to be up soon). If no one is running against them on the left yet, where do I donate? The state D party? was also thinking of donating to a healthcare-type nonprofit — any suggestions? I already give to PP, and other standard liberal non-health-related orgs. Thanks!


      You could support Emily’s List (or a local version supporting women to run for office in that state)…they swing progressive and have had SO MUCH interest that they’re struggling to get enough coordinators/field opps hired before midterms heat up.

    • if you have friends in AZ, W Va, or NV – call them to call their senators and oppose this ASAP. I’m all for giving money but part of the reason someone like Heller is probably going to vote yes is that he knows he’s likely to lose next year whether he gets primaried from the right or not, but if he votes with his party, they may find him a cushy landing somewhere like ambassador to one of the dozens of countries we have no ambassadors to.

    • Anonymous :

      If you’re interested in House races at all, Swingleft dot org is also good – it’s a new organization that collects donations to be given to the future Democratic nominees in swing House districts. They get the money after the Democratic primary is over (or immediately if they’re an incumbent).

  26. Texas Dem :

    Someone is running against Cruz – Beto O’Rourke so please support him. Unless he gets AG (puke).
    But yes, maybe Act Blue or State D or MoveOn? I’m not totally sure the roles of these groups and where the dividing line is.

  27. I’ve had a very rough couple of months health-wise (several surgeries and ER visits) and I’ve become so irritable and snappy, I feel terrible about it. Everyone p*sses me off, and I am just stewing over really minor things. If I look at it rationally it’s probably a combination of (i) being completely confined to my house except for when I can get help from friends, and feeling kind of helpless and (ii) a month on strong antibiotics killing my microbiome (I’m convinced this affects my mood. Already doing what I can with probiotics etc but doesn’t seem to help.). I feel lonely and sad, and asking for help is hard. And I feel awful that I get so annoyed when I do ask for help and friends can’t do it (for totally legitimate reasons).

    I will never take my health and freedom to move around for granted again.

    Any words of advice or commiseration? I really don’t want to ruin friendships over this. (My friends are very kind and helpful, they also have busy lives and lots of commitments.)

    • Yes! Go see a therapist. While you are waiting for an appointment talk to your primary care physician about your mental state. You don’t have to just live with it.

      • Thanks, I’m realizing this is probably my current mood speaking, but leaving the house is one big ordeal each time (I currently can’t walk) and seems to get me more flustered (and more in pain) and more reliant on the time/kindness of friends, so the thought of going to see a therapist seems like an insurmountable hurdle. But I also feel that in my current extremely irritable state of mind, I will find a reason why I can’t do anything anyone suggests that might help. Ugh.

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      I’m so sorry, I know I get easily depressed when I’ve been confined for health reasons, so I completely understand how that can make you edgy. Is it possible to head outside for a bit (balcony? yard?) every day, even if you can’t do physical activity? I feel like I suggest this a lot, but a change of scenery really helps my mood and to get out of my funk. Reading uplifting books also helps me mentally feel like I’m getting out of my headspace, too. A therapist is also a great place to start.

      • Aunt Jamesina :

        Oh! And! My other two things I picked up in therapy that sound hokey but were surprisingly therapeutic: growing plants from seed (really!) and daily gratitude journaling. Growing plants gives you something that you feel like you have control over and something to look forward to. I used a regular lamp on a timer and a few small pots with herb seeds since they grow fast, smell nice, and are useful. And I’m a big old grump, but journaling for a few minutes each morning really helps my mindset.

    • Would you consider putting a post on social media articulating this. I’m thinking something along the lines of, “As many of you know, the last couple months have been challenging. I haven’t always been in the best place mentally. I really miss being out and about, and seeing all of you! I would really appreciate people reaching out if you have some spare time that we could spend together.”

      It might open up a wider pool of support who have more availability, or just get you some positive messages from people who aren’t geographically close to you.

      Asking for help *is* hard, but imagine what your reaction would be if a friend of yours posted something similar. You would not think poorly of them and would look for any opportunity to help.

    • Anonymous :

      I was in your exact same position last summer/winter. Not much to say that will help, except that I promise it will get better. I had similar problems walking for about 4 months after a bad/sudden surgery, and have spent a lot more time and energy on my physical well-being since then. That time period is still the worst of my life, but things have finally made it to the upswing for me and they will for you too. Months from now, you’ll embrace life in a way that you never did before this happened. If you have a pet/significant other, lots of cuddles will help in the meantime.

      *hugs from an internet stranger*

    • Anonymous :

      My primary care doc prescribed antidepressants for me as I was getting close to the date of the first of two planned surgeries (both of which involved a lot of pain during recovery and limited my mobility and meant I had to be driven to the grocery store and so on.) She said, “We want you going into that experience strong.”

      It helped a LOT. I have had issues with anxiety for years and although I still had flare-ups during the recovery period, my general outlook was much more even and stable because of the meds.

      I selected meds that had low instances of s*xual side effects, ymmv but it’s worth considering that beforehand, and although I’ve had some weight gain overall it has been a good choice.

  28. Complainy Pants :

    I know no one likes to answer calls if you don’t recognize the number. But, if you call a law firm with 7 outgoing lines and expect a call back, the you might not recognize the return number. If I leave a voicemail and you call me back and get my voicemail, this is going to go on forever. Just answer the damn phone! I tend to return a bunch of calls all at once so when everyone is screening my calls, I am on the next call when they call back. I can pause between calls but that wastes a ton of otherwise productive time.

    • Or more likely they’re not screening your calls and are actually incapable of answering the phone, just like you sometimes are. Do you expect people to wait around all day just for you to call?

      • Complainy Pants :

        Of course not. The return voicemail I get usually says “sorry, didn’t recognize the number.” And it comes less than 5 minutes after I called. You are right though and I’m just feeling annoyed.

        • Anonymous :

          I get these calls at my office – “I just got a call from this number”. Ok? Did you listen to the voice mail?

          • I’m not saying this is definitely happening, but I often receive voicemail several minutes after the caller finishes leaving a message and hangs up. If I return the call immediately, the voicemail doesn’t push to my phone until after we hang up. This happens all the time with a particular family member (the only one who bothers to leave voicemail).

          • Nobody listens to voicemails. Don’t leave a voicemail longer than your name and number,

    • Anonymous :

      Who even listens to voice mail?

  29. Anonymous for this :

    I am in my first trimester so can’t tell anyone this, but all I want to do is wear French terry and lounge at home eating bowls of fruit.

    Can anyone recommend the most comfortable of lounge pants? Fuzzy socks too, if you know of any.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Cosabella makes really fantastic ones. I usually buy them whenever they’re on sale on amazon. Congrats!

      • Anonymous for this :

        Thanks! And, wow, Cosabella has beautiful things. This is exactly what I was looking for.

  30. I love this jacket!! It’s hard to beat a green coat like this!

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